Feb. 15, 2007
EUGENE, Ore. Sophomore center Devanei Hampton matched her career high of 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to prevent No. 22 California from falling to Oregon, 62-42, Thursday night at McArthur Court. The Golden Bears fell to 19-7 overall (9-6 Pac-10), while the Ducks improved to 15-10 (7-8 Pac-10).
"Oregon is playing great basketball right now," said Cal head coach Joanne Boyle. "They won four of their last five coming into this game. You talk about teams peaking at the right time, and I think they're doing a great job. On our end, someone had to come and help Devanei tonight, and no one did. We've had a bad practice and a bad shoot-around and we followed it up with a bad game."
Hampton recorded her seventh double-double of the season and fourth straight as her team's only offensive threat today. Over the last six games, Hampton is averaging 23.0 ppg and 11.2 rpg. She has led the Bears in scoring in six straight outings after hitting 10-of-17 shots today.
Sophomore forward Ashley Walker and Hampton tallied four points each to help Cal jump out to an 8-3 lead with 14:30 to play in the first half. With the Bears ahead 10-9 about four minutes later, the Ducks responded with an 8-0 run, capped by four of Taylor Lilly's 10 points off of the bench, to go ahead 17-10.
"There's complacency," said Boyle. "We started off the game poorly and then that got in our heads, and we let the game go by the wayside. Nobody stepped up and said, `I'm going to get a stop so I can get an easy transition basket.' No one was a threat on offense other than Dev. There was no rhythm; there was no flow."
Hampton posted six of Cal's next eight points to help the Bears go ahead 18-17 with 3:04 remaining until halftime. Cicely Oaks then sank a jumper to end Oregon's scoreless stretch of four minutes, 39 seconds. Oaks' bucket gave the Ducks the lead for good with 2:42 to go in the opening stanza. Cal trailed only 21-20 after freshman guard Natasha Vital made a layup for her only points of the game, but Oregon entered the locker room ahead, 23-20.
Oregon shot 60.9 percent from the floor in the second half to pull away from Cal, which hit only 30.4 percent of its chances. For the game, the Ducks registered a 47.9 field goal percentage, while the Bears were at 34.0 percent.
Cal stayed close to Oregon for the first 10 minutes of the second half. Eleanor Haring, who led Oregon with 17 points, scored four straight points to put the Ducks ahead, 35-27, four minutes after halftime. The Bears trailed only 36-32 following a jumper by Hampton at the 13-minute mark before the Ducks built their first double-digit lead at 43-32. Lilly converted one of her two three-pointers during that run.
The Bears trailed only 43-34, courtesy of a jumper by Hampton, with 8:17 left in the game. However, Cal was outscored 19-8 in crunch time.
The 42 points are the fewest Cal has posted since a 70-41 road setback to Oregon Jan. 5, 2006. The Bears haven't won at McArthur Court since the 1992-93 season.
On a positive note, Cal held a 30-29 rebounding advantage.
"I know what my teammates can do offensively and defensively," said Hampton. "Today just wasn't our game. We're a team, and we have some things that we need to work on together. We'll do that tomorrow in practice and focus on Saturday."
Cal looks to get back on track at Oregon State (8-16, 3-12) Saturday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. The Beavers fell to No. 10 Stanford, 70-55, tonight after leading 34-32 at halftime.